RC Day 3: Infinite Complex Groups

Today’s theme was attending a bunch of different events. Anyone at RC can add events to the calendar and start groups; there aren’t any formal rules around it. Looking over the calendar for the first time is a bit like being at a huge theme park with tons of rides you want to ride on or looking at the list of all the villages and talks at DEFCON.1 There’s dozens of clubs and activities to choose from.

Category Theory, Hardware JS, and Video Games (Oh My!)

The three clubs I attended today covered category theory, running JS on native hardware using Espruino, and video games.

I got to play around with Haskell and start learning it at the “Lambda Learning” club. I also learned about SKI combinators , which are Turing equivalent. At the “JavaScript on Hardware Workshop,” George showed some of his Espruino devices off and we played around with NFC and WiFi. At the video games club several Recursers showed off the games they were working on and we talked about a whole host of interests from developing games to playing games to criticizing them.

In the spirit of all these clubs, I’m organizing a networking club with a few other interested people for this Friday! Hopefully it goes well; I’ll write about it when it happens.

Running, Q&As, Lunch Bot, and Coffee Chats

We have a running club now; or rather, we have a stream on Zulip where we’re planning out runs. We did three miles around Downtown Brooklyn and Fort Greene today at noon, and it was wonderful.

The Winter 2’s organized a Q&A for the new batches today, which was excellent. We talked about how to balance socializing and coding, how to decide what to focus on and how much to focus, how to socialize if shy and to be inclusive of shy people if not, and a ton of the fun things that happen in the space like movie nights.2

The coffee and pairing bots gave me two different people3 to meet with today. I had a wonderful coffee chat about games, work, and San Francisco. In the Q&A we’d talked about a lunch bot that was supposed to help people find groups to go out to lunch with but was being under-utilized, so for our pairing session, we worked on Lunch Bot, trying to add a subscription feature that would remind people every day to go get lunch. We didn’t get super far, but I’m excited to finish this up over the rest of the week.

Organizing My Time at RC

Right now I’m dipping my toes in everywhere, which has been amazing. The Q&A session gave me a lot of thoughts about organizing my time so I’m not burning myself out or overextending myself and getting little done.

One thing I plan to do is set weekly themes. I think themes work well here; unlike goals there isn’t a set “win condition” so I can make decisions without worrying about not hitting an original goal and I don’t have any risk of losing direction because something proved easier than I expected.

This week’s theme is discovery—exploring everything available to me at Recurse Center—which I’m picking retroactively because I’m doing a decent job at that. It also makes this first week one without substantial pressure; so long as I’m trying new things I’m doing alright!

My other plan is to do a handful of things every day to ensure I’m on the right track:

We’ll see how those all hold up; even posting on the blog every day is something I might peel off from at some point.5 For now, hope you enjoyed today’s update!

  1. DEFCON is a huge security conference held in Las Vegas every summer that contains multiple tracks of talks, “villages” devoted to specific themes that often run their own talks and events as well as just allowing you to interact with them, and competitions and events ranging from Hacker Karaoke to dozens of CTFs. Even if you’re not interested in security I recommend going if you get the chance. ↩︎

  2. Apparently there’s a horror movie hiatus because there were too many run back-to-back in the weeks before I joined. Movie night with no horror movies is itself (for me) the plot of a horror movie. ↩︎

  3. If you read my last two posts, you might notice I’m avoiding names right now. I realized it might be awkward that I’m posting people’s names online without asking them, so I’m trying to avoid them. My original decision to use names was just to be able to refer to people and not sound like I was doing everything by myself, since a huge draw of RC is the people you do things with. I’ll figure out what makes the most sense to do here and update things appropriately. ↩︎

  4. Have a real conversation with, not just learn the name/pronouns of. ↩︎

  5. I’m enjoying writing these posts but I wonder if I’d get more out of doing a more edited and constructed technical write-up every week instead of daily freeform journals. It’s something I’ll think more about next week; for this week I’m committing to the journals. ↩︎